Arrested Development

Composed By: David Schwartz

Performed By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                The television comedy series Arrested Development centers around Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) and his wild and eccentric dysfunctional family. The cast of craziness features Michael Cera as Michael's son George Michael, Jeffrey Tambor as Michael's father George Bluth, Sr., Jessica Walter as Michael's mother Lucille, Will Arnett and Tony Hale as his brothers George Oscar II and Buster, Portia de Rossi as his sister Lindsay Funke, David Cross as Lindsay's husband Tobias and Alia Shawkat as Lindsay's daughter Maeby.  Arrested Development aired on the FOX Network for three seasons before being cancelled.  It returned for a fifteen-episode fourth season exclusively on Netflix and has garnered accolades from Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, AFI, the Golden Globes, Producer's Guild Awards, Screen Actor's Guild, the Television Critics Association and the Writer's Guild and more.

                Released by Varse Sarabande Records on November 19, 2013, the Arrested Development Soundtrack features songs and musical score created for the series by David Schwartz.  After attending the School of Visual Arts in New York and the Berklee College of Music in Boston, David Schwartz began his musical career as a performer alongside such notable artists as John Hall, Manhattan Transfer, the Boston Civic Symphony and the Glenn Miller Band.  He began his foray into scoring in 1990 and has since created a number of scores for such notable television series as Northern Exposure, Deadwood, Reaper, The Inbetweeners, Wolf Lake and more.

                The entire Arrested Development Soundtrack is one funny adult listening experience (songs are a tad too explicit for children's ears).  Having never watched the show, I could nonetheless find this album extremely enjoyable thanks to its zany ukulele tracks, jazzy comedy score and parody songs that are definitely less than politically correct and entirely all too funny.  Many of these tracks are performed by the composer, both vocally and musically, accompanied by such artists as Gabriel Mann, Louis Price, Will Arnet, Lucy Schwartz and more.  Some of my favorite tracks include the Yellow Submarine parody The Yellow Boat, the rocking parody of 80s rock Balls in the Air and the R&B track about the desire for a one night stand You'll Never Hear From Me Again .

                I couldn't help smiling while listening to this album and often found myself laughing out loud, wondering as to whether the entire show was this funny, or just the songs.  Fans of this television series are going to love this forty-two track album featuring some of the funniest songs and music from Arrested Development's four year run.  The album is definitely a bargain at less than $12.00US for the CD and MP3 versions and well-worth checking out.


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